Children not in school

Closed 24 Jun 2019

Opened 2 Apr 2019

Feedback updated 6 May 2022

We asked

The Children Not in School (CNIS) consultation’s purpose was to seek views on proposals relating to local authority registers of children not attending school, which would improve local authorities’ ability to undertake their safeguarding and educational responsibilities related to children who do not attend mainstream education institutions, and on a duty for local authorities to support home educating families.

You said

The ‘Children Not in School’ consultation received almost 5,000 responses, mostly online, and mostly from parents. However a large proportion of local authorities (LAs) responded. There were 145 LA responses, although a few LAs sent in more than one response. The consultation also had significant interest from a number of children’s charities, who are strongly supportive of the proposals.

We did

Following the consultation response, which was published on 3 February 2022, the next steps are to legislate to enact the proposals at the earliest opportunity. We will continue to work together with key stakeholders and other government departments to make this happen and develop the proposals into CNIS registers for each local authority in England and a duty on local authorities to support home educating families should they want it.



This consultation is about establishing a local authority registration system for children who do not attend state-funded or registered independent schools.

Why your views matter

This consultation is a follow-up to the consultation and call for evidence on elective home education held by the Department for Education in 2018.

It seeks views on proposed legislation to establish a register maintained by local authorities of children not attending mainstream schools, together with associated duties on parents and the proprietors of certain educational settings. It also consults on proposed legislation to establish a duty to support parents who educate children at home and seek support from their local authority in doing so.

What happens next

When the consultation has closed, the government will consider responses received and take a decsion on next steps. A government response document will be published.


  • Local authorities
  • Pupils
  • Parents
  • Foster carers
  • Adoptive parents
  • Unions and representative organisations
  • Government bodies and departments


  • Education
  • Keeping children safe in education and other settings
  • Alternative provision